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SOCIAL   AND    POLITICAL    LIFE           185

Triad of Face, Fate and Favour. The male Triad more or
less always worked together. A good magistrate had to fight
his way out and directly reach the people over the shoulders
of the other two. There were many such magistrates. But
they had a hard time, and these people had always to attend
to the administration personally themselves without the usual
paraphernalia of the whole yamendom. Such a one, for
instance, was Yuan Mei, and there were many others. They
were good, but gratuitously good, to the people.

In modern times a fourth potentate has come into being in
the countryside, and instead of a Triad we have in some parts
of the country four monsters working hand in hand together:
the magistrate, the gentry, the local rich and the bandit.
Sometimes the local rich get out, and there remain only three.
No wonder the fat of the land is running thin. No wonder that
Communism grows. Communism, without Russian doctrine,
could not find a more ideal growing ground. The movement
of Communism, with its ruthless stand against the gentry and
the local rich, and constantly growing and feeding upon the
dislocated population, now homeless, fatless, and marrowless
and being called "bandits," must be looked upon as an
economic rebellion of the people, quite apart from the accident
of Russian theories. And all this because Confucius, in out-
lining his social scheme of five human relationships, forgot to
define the relationship between man and the stranger.

Communism has so changed the scheme of social life that a
peasant may go directly to the magistrate and, resting his bam-
boo pole on the yamen wall, talk to the magistrate as man to
man. This has become so deep-rooted that in territories
recovered from the communistic area, the officials can no
longer keep to their yamen style, but must speak to the peasant,
as the communist officials used to speak to him. Certain things
are still wrong, grievously wrong. The Kuomintang had on
its literary programme the lightening of the tenants' contri-
bution of crops to the landlords, the establishment of rural
banks, and the forbidding of usury, etc., etc. And some day it
is going to be forced to do all this. The Shanghai pawnshops
still proclaim their generosity with the words in big characters
outside their doors: "MONTHLY INTEREST EIGHTEEN PER CENT!"